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The President, October 1968

LBJ Library & Museum

Sound | 1968

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    This film, produced by The White House Naval Photographic Unit, presents the activities of President Johnson in October 1968. With the presidential election looming ever closer, President Johnson took time to deliver a number of speeches clarifying his support for Democratic Presidential nominee, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. October saw the launch of the Apollo 7 space shuttle, visits from the President of Chad, Francois Tombalbaye, and Prime Minister of New Zealand, Keith Holoake, and the birth of President Johnson's second grandchild. Nevertheless, his focus this month was squarely upon the Vietnam peace talks being conducted in Paris. Throughout the month, President Johnson met with his advisors and military commanders, before announcing on the last day of October that he was calling for a halting of the bombing campaign in Vietnam.

    The films created by The White House Naval Photographic Unit documented the life of the President and first family in both an official and unofficial capacity. During the early years of the Johnson administration the films primarily documented ceremonial events, but in June 1966 monthly reports concerning the President began being produced. The monthly reports provide insight into a range of the President's activities by documenting and presenting a clear portrayal of what the President did in that month. The monthly reports also captured happenings in the life of the first family.

    Courtesy of the LBJ Library, film by the White House Naval Photographic Center, Serial # MP901.

    Thirty-sixth president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was born on a hill country farm near Stonewall, Texas on August 27, 1908, to Samuel Ealy Johnson, a former Texas legislator, and Rebekah Baines Johnson. He attended Southwest Teachers College, now Texas State University, graduating with a degree in history and social science in 1930. LBJ spent one year as principal and teacher in Cotulla, educating impoverished Hispanic elementary school students. LBJ became the secretary to Texas Congressman Richard M. Kleberg in 1931; the four-year position helped him gain influential contacts in Washington. Johnson married Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor on November 17, 1934.
     
    LBJ acted as Director of the National Youth Administration in Texas from 1935 to 1937. Johnson won his first legislative election in 1937 for the Tenth Congressional District, a position he held for 11 years. He was a firm supporter of President Roosevelt’s New Deal and in 1940 acted as Chairman of the Democratic Campaign Committee. In 1948, following his service as a Lieutenant Naval Commander during World War II, LBJ ran as the Democratic nominee for Senate. In a cloud of controversy, he narrowly defeated former Texas Governor Coke Stevens and easily beat his Republican opponent in the general election. Before winning his second senate term, LBJ was elected Majority Whip in 1951, became the youngest ever Minority Senate Leader in 1953, and was voted Majority Leader in 1954. Johnson unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960 but was selected to be Vice President under John F. Kennedy. 
     
    Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as Commander and Chief aboard Air Force One following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, and won reelection in 1964. President Johnson passed landmark legislation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Debate over military efforts in Vietnam intensified in late 1963 when the President stated that the United States would not withdraw from Southeast Asia. Escalation of the war against North Vietnam brought disapproval from Democrats, claiming the efforts were misguided, and from Republicans who criticized the administration for not executing sufficient military vigor. Antiwar protests, urban riots, and racial tension eroded Johnson’s political base by 1967, which further dissolved following the Tet Offensive in January 1968. On March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced that we would not seek a second presidential term.
     
    After returning to Texas, Johnson oversaw the construction of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Throughout his political career, LBJ was an influential figure in Texas affairs; his policies brought military bases, crop subsidies, government facilities, and federal jobs to the state. After suffering a massive heart attack, former President Johnson died at his ranch on January 22, 1973. In February of the same year, NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in honor of one of the country’s most influential Texans.
    TFC
    The President October 1968
    President Johnson
    LBJ
    Lyndon Baines Johnson
    presidential address
    Paris Peace talks
    Vietnam
    cabinet meeting
    Dean Rusk
    Secretary of State
    oval office
    filibuster
    Abe Fortas
    The Washington Post
    capitol
    Earle Warren
    the Supreme Court
    First Lady
    Lady Bird Johnson
    Mrs. Johnson
    conservation
    education
    fire arms control
    Redwood National Park Act
    redwoods
    trees
    Presidential seal
    the East Room
    The Higher Education and Vocational Education Amendments of 1968
    signing
    bill signing
    Hazardous Radiation Act
    Gun Control Act of 1968
    Secretary of the Interior
    Stewart Udall
    Secretary of Defense
    Clark Clifford
    Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd
    C.R. Smith
    Secretary of Commerce
    Orville Freeman
    Secretary of Agriculture
    Ramsey Clark Attorney General
    Robert Weaver
    Secretary of Housing and Urban development
    reception
    state visits
    President of Chad
    Francois Tombalbaye
    canon
    canons
    Keith Holyoake
    Sir Keith Holyoake
    Prime Minister of New Zealand
    San Antonio formula
    state dinner
    Lucinda Desha Robb
    granddaughter
    first family
    Lynda Bird Johnson Robb
    Luci Baines Johnson
    White House maintenance
    campaign
    campaigning
    Waldorf Astoria
    Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation
    Richard Nixon
    Vice President Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Huntington
    West Virginia
    Pike Ville
    Kentucky
    Fish Trap Dam
    stump tour
    Morgantown
    All Americans Council
    Patrick Lyndon Nugent
    Louisville
    Democratic Women's Clubs of Kentucky
    The Mike Douglas Television Show
    Sheraton-Park Hotel
    fashion show
    Bess Abell
    Mrs. Alan Boyd
    Phyllis Bonanno
    Helene Lindow
    White House receptions
    historical preservation
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    Air Force One
    Harry Truman
    President Harry Truman
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    Secretary of State
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    General Maxwell Taylor
    General Creighton Abrams
    bombing halt
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    Distinguished Service Medal
    Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker
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    Marie Fehmer
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    Press Secretary George Christian
    General Wheeler
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    first family
    Walt Rosdow
    NBC News
    Naval Photographic Center